My #GetYourBellyOut story: Greg

My name is Greg and I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at the age of 19, however I had symptoms for a few years before that…

I suffered through a roller coaster of flares and remission for about 10 years then ended up in the hospital for 6 weeks and ultimately reached the conclusion that I needed surgery. Initially, a subtotal colectomy, which failed and then a Total Proctocolectomy which has worked remarkably well.

I was on Prednisone for those 10 years and it has caused immeasurable damage to my joints, which has resulted in Bilateral Total Hips and Knees along with minor and major repair work to most of my other joints. I have had 25 corrective surgeries in total.

I have always been active and continue to remain optimistic about my health and well-being. I find reaching out and helping others gives me a great deal of happiness!

When I stumbled upon #GetYourBellyOut, I found it refreshing and honestly very brave of those featured on the Facebook page to be so “open” about their challenges; alongside a simple message of hope demonstrated through their “full disclosure” photos of their bodies with nothing more than a bathing suit and a pouch, all with big smiles and a unique story of encouragement mixed in with the realities of having a chronic disease.

I believe GetYourBellyOut CIC not only provides hope and encouragement, but also the underlying truth in invisible suffering, pain or sometimes daily challenges that often go unnoticed, unrecognized, and often unsupported by those around us because “we don’t look sick” or “…sick enough” to be truly suffering.

I love what GetYourBellyOut CIC do! It is imperative that we continue to form our “tribe” to love and support one another as much as we can. It is the recognition that we all need to demonstrate that we are “one” in this battle and together we can become stronger together!